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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Three mediums are exactly equivilant to two deeps. That's what I use. It is a minor frustration finding things like nucs. I can buy medium nucs from Brushy Mt, but it's cheaper to buy deeps from Wester Bee Supply and cut them down. I have to modify a frame (just cut a groove in each end bar) to do my queen rearing becaus those come in deeps only. Small cell foundation only comes in deeps, but I cut it down and only use a starter strip anyway.

A deep full of honey is about 90 pounds. A medium full of honey is about 60 pounds. That last 30 pounds is a real back killer.

There is also research the bees winter better because the cluster communicates better between the boxes.

Also the boxes all the same and the interchangability of all the frames is a wonderful thing.

I think your friend has probably learned the hard way and come to the same conclusion I have.

To be the devil's advocate, there are those who think that the queen lays a better pattern if all the brood is in one box without the space between. Another alternative is to make a 20" x 20" x 11 5/8" box that holds 13 Dadant Deep frames and never move the brood box. That way you don't have to lift the brood chamber at all.

Of course, as mentioned, you will be going against the flow which around here is two deeps for brood and mediums for honey.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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A lot of people in that part of the country winter in one deep. Two mediums is about 1 1/2 deeps so I suppose it would work. Around here people usually use two deeps. I used to use two to three depending on the strength of the colony. Now I vary from one medium for a nuc to four for a really strong hive with a lot of them in three.
 
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